GET UP HAITI GET UP!!! Remembering Capois Lamort

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"The Soldier Of Death Himself: Capois La Mort"

François Capois (Capois-La-Mort The Soldier Of Death; also Cappoix-la-Mort) was born in 1766 in Por-De-Paix on the habitation of Laveaux/lapointe and (Died October 19, 1806) at Limonade.

His name was a transformation of the name cappouet, owner the habitation.His military career began in 1793 after a visit of Toussaint Louverture at Port-De-Paix.

Then under the colonel Jacques Maurepas he was a member of the 9th brigade.

His rank in the army changed quickly, first to Lieutenant then Captain of the 3rd Battalion.

He participated under general Maurepas against all expeditions and invasions in the North East area. Capois is mostly known for his extraordinary courage and especially his "herculean" bravery at the battle Of Vertiere in which the French general Viscount of Rochambeau, commander of Napoleon's army at St. Domingue now Haiti, even called a brief cease-fire to congratulate him.

Capturing Port-De-Paix: After receiving new troops from France, Rochambeau despatched general Clauzel against Port-de-Paix which Capois was forced to evacuated but the fearless black general redeemed his defeat by storming the Petit-Fort where he captured the ammunition of which he was in great neeed.

After his success at Petit-Fort, he decided to attack Tortuga island.

The most difficult problem he had in this attack was how to reach this island without ships.

For his lack, he made up by building a raft consisting merely of planks held together by with lianes.

On the night of February 18, 1803, 150 soldiers under the command of Vincent Louis were huddled together on this frail means of transportation in tow of 2 row-boats.

They fell unexpectedly on the garrison of tortuga and for a while seemed to be the conquerors.

but the french, who soon got over their surprise, rallied, and defeated Vincent Louis who succeeded in making his escape with some of his companions.

The unfortunate blacks who were taken prisoners by the French were tortured to death in expiation of the audacious attempt.

The failure did not discourage the energy of Capois.

On April 12, 1803 Capois stormed Port-de-Paix, and soon after Vincent Louis on his raft was again on his way to Tortuga.

He succeeded this time in taking possession of the island, which the French never recovered.

The Battle Of Vertiere: On November 18, 1803, Jean-Jacques Dessalines had ordered Capois to take Vertières, a fort situated upon the mount.

Capois-la-mort advanced with a demi-brigade which horribly multilated, soon recoiled before the fire of the fort. He led it back for a second time, but again driven to the bottom of the hill by the mitrailleuse.

Boiling with rage, Capois ran to seek other new troops, and mounting his horse advanced for the third time; again the thousand deaths that vomited from the fortress repulsed him and his brigade.

Now for the fourth time, he asked his men to follow him by saying Forward! forward!.

while he was at the head of his men, his horse was hit by a canonball- he fell, but in the twinkling of an eye, capois took his sword, got up, and ran to place himself again at the head of his black soldiers by shouting forward! forward!.

his cap, garnished with plumes, was carried away by a shot. he replied to the insult which left him hatless by drawing his sword and again threw himself to the assault Forward! forward!.Observing this, Rochambeau and his men shouted: bravo! bravo! bravo!.

a roll of french drums resounded and the firing in the fort ceased.

Suddenly, the battle stood still.

A French staff officer mounted his horse and rode toward the intrepid Capoix-la-Mort.

With a great voice he shouted: ''General Rochambeau sends compliments to the general who has just covered himself with such glory!" Then he saluted the Haitian warriors, returned to his position and the fight resumed.

The next morning a french officer followed by his companions led to the headquarters of the Haitian army a horse caparisoned and delivered him with these words: The Captain-general ( rochambeau) offers this horse as a mark of admiration to the black Achilles to replace the one of his that the french army regrets to have killed

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Hispanolanoyosoy, April 11 2008, 10:13 PM

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